Love the idea of a book crawl, that is a pub crawl but you get drunk on books instead. You move from book store to book store to check out the novels, comics and other things on sale and to hopefully meet readers and people who are part of the love of reading. When Book and Brews approached me with their unique Book Crawl idea and asked me to participate, of course I said yes. This was the first reading I did from Cult of Chaos and it was nice to see so many turn up on a lazy Sunday afternoon to hear out how I added in a tadka of tantrism into the book. Leaving you all with some photos.
What happens when an author becomes a librarian? As far as I remember, I’ve always wanted to be a librarian, or own a bookstore and have harboured a dream of sitting in one, selling and recommending books to readers like me. I actually do that, in airport stores, or bookstores on weekends, lurk, and suggest people what to read.
I’ve always had this fantasy of recommending books to readers. The kind that I like, that are full of spaceships, monsters, supernatural and a tadka of ghosts.
I will be hanging about for a few hours, sitting on the cashier seat, recommend the books and authors I love reading, sign my own books and talk to customers in a role-play of being a librarian. So I fixed with the amazing Ravi, at the indie bookstore Goobe’s Book Republic, to make my fantasy come true. For a few hours on Saturday, I will be womaning their desk, recommending books to readers, indulging in long conversations about favourite parts of favourite authors and selling and signing books!
There’s another reason. A dire one.
In recent years, a few of my favourite indie bookstores have shut down across the country. All these stores, run by passionate people, couldn’t sustain because of competition from either chainstores or online stores.
It’s heart wrenching for an author to see bookstores where she has spend years, to be so unceremoniously shut down. I think where reading is concerned, indie bookstores are the best way to encourage people, through one-on-one interactions, listening to readers and keeping a quality collection.
Which is why I hope this little event brings in more from the community and sales. Goobe starts it, but I hope to do this, build meaningful relationships with indie booksellers and readers in other cities too. After all books should be a way to love, exchange, laugh and celebrate reading.
Come over, if you’re around in Bangalore, want to read something new, and say hello.
My latest book, The Matsya Curse, was partly edited at the Chichester University, where I was for three months, on a Charles Wallace India Trust writing fellowship, galavanting, interacting with authors and teachers and basically learning so much. That’s the reason when it came to the book’s launch I decided to approach the British Council Library, Bangalore for it.
And oh, what a launch it was!
There’s still a heady hangover from it as I am writing this. There was a quiz, done by geeky spouse Ashwani and friend Prasad which was won by 11-year olds. I knew about four questions from the total fifteen and Leighton, the head of Bangalore BCL mentioned that he didn’t know any over Twitter. The quiz was followed by an excerpt reading from The Matsya Curse and then a conversatino between me and Samhita Arni. Sam was wonderful with her questions, well-read and covered all aspects of the book, be it tantrism, feminism, Indian mythology in fantasy or how much time it takes to write a book. Phew. What wonderfulness. Leaving you with a few photographs taken by the fab photograph and friend Darshan CG. Now back to planning more quizzes for you. Look out this space for announcements.
A reading party, a rather modern phenomenon of people coming together and being introduced to a genre or to read together, silently, sitting in a pub or a cafe, is a wonderful idea. Which is why when Gathr approached me for this event, I was quite excited. It’s happening this Thursday in Bangalore. I will be doing a talk on my love of comics, showing people the books I have, read other people’s collection of graphic novels and mostly celebrate the Indian comics genre. I hope there are more reading parties like this, that people sign up for and more and more people pick up Indian-made comics. Come over, peeps, if comics are your kind of a thing.
The fifth edition of our odd juxtaposition of reading and party finds us focusing on modern Indian graphic novels, a genre that is really finding its feet. We’ve curated a set of some of the most interesting new works available for your reading pleasure. Continue reading “Event: A graphic reading party in Bangalore”
Wonders never cease. Only a few years ago, I was scrounging websites and blogs, emailing and trolling authors for a bit of wiseness, gyan on writing that could come my way. And then the wonderful Bhumika from Bangalore Writers Workshop invited me over on a Saturday to speak on the art of writing and to answer all those questions are arise in the hearts of people who are crazy enough to get started on a writing journey.
There was a small group of about fifteen people there, tired as they’d just finished their classes on writing and here was another person going to give them gyan. But they didn’t show it. Instead, they were brave and curious and asked questions. They asked me the usual ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’, ‘How did you get published?’, ‘What’s the process of your writing?’ and the direct ‘How do you earn?’ and the difficult ‘When do you know a manuscript is ready to be submitted?’
I tried this for the first time, going to meet a group with no agenda, no preparation but myself and the work I’ve done. And I tried to answer as truthfully as possible, making sure hope was always alive. For I am just one point of view. And there are many other.
And so we chatted and spent the evening. In a rare lull of questions, I asked everyone who were the Indian authors they’d read or heard of: Amartya Sen, Salman Rushdie and then finally, ‘Chetan Bhagat’ with a disclaimer, ‘Though I’ve not read him.’